MARYVILLE, Missouri – In a football game where the rain delay (3:17) lasted longer than the actual contest (2:45), the No. 7-ranked Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats rolled the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, 59-10.
The onslaught on Central Oklahoma (2-2 overall) began immediately out the gate with the help of the special teams unit. In a play that took 13 seconds, kick returner Imoni Donadelle went up the right sideline for a 99-yard opening kickoff return for touchdown.
That was only the beginning as Northwest (4-0 overall) scored once again on its first offensive play of the game. Running back Justin Rankin caught a pass from Braden Wright for a 48-yard touchdown with 13:30 left to give Northwest a 14-0 lead.
With 9:22 in the first quarter, Northwest made its way into UCO territory, before having to rely on a 45-yard field goal from Parker Sampson to give the Bearcats a 17-0 lead.
Central Oklahoma drove down the field to get its only touchdown of the day on a six-yard touchdown pass from Keats Calhoon to Dustin Basks with 3:13 left in the first quarter.
For the second time on the day, the Bronchos had to put the ball back into Donadelle’s hands for another kick return. He did not disappoint as he sped through a hole and reached the UCO 45 yard-line. The drive proved to be successful as Marqus Andrews put the Bearcats in prime position to score with an 18-yard run that finished with him hurdling a Broncho defender. A play later Wright kept the ball on a read-option and bulled his way into the end zone for 13-yard touchdown to make the score 24-3 with 1:55 left in the first half.
The clock stayed at 1:55 for three hours and 17 minutes as lightning and rain played their part in the blowout. During that time it was all speculation whether the family day game would continue, but time beat the weather and play resumed at 5:35 pm.
Momentum for the Bearcats also resumed as Wright started the second quarter by rolling out to the left side and found LaTroy Harper on his own custom route. A broken tackle later Harper joined the fun with a 64-yard touchdown giving help to the blowout as the Bearcats led 31-3 with 14:48 left in the second quarter.
Harper came back for more with 12:23 on the clock as he sprinted across the middle on a slant and beat the corner in a foot race on his way to a 53-yard touchdown.
Up 38-3, Northwest continued to show no mercy in this revenge game from last year’s defeat as they converted a fourth and one in Central Oklahoma’s territory. Wright pitched the ball to Rankin for a 12-yard rushing touchdown with 6:38 left in the second quarter and gave Northwest a 45-7 advantage.
The Bearcats were able to stop the Bronchos once again on defense and got the ball back with 1:47 left. Northwest used its hurry-up offense and in the end, put the ball in the hands of two of the best weapons. Wright hit Rankin over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown strike that upped the Bearcat lead to 52-7 with 50 ticks left on the first half clock.
With his last throw of the half Wright eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark. Going into today’s game, Wright had yet to have a 300-yard game at the collegiate level and he had passed for 305 yards in the first half alone against the Bronchos.
The Bearcats used the second half as a developing tool for their younger guys as the second-stringers and running backs got the bulk of the offensive totals. This included a drive led by backup quarterback Mike Hohensee as he rushed for a total of 47 yards in two carries, one of those rushes being a nine-yard run that he used to plow into the end zone with 7:35 left in the third quarter. Hohensee’s rushing score would be the final score of the game.
The Bearcats will return to action next Saturday with a 2 p.m. kickoff at Emporia State.
NOTES: Wright accounted for five touchdowns as he passed for four scores and rushed for another … Wright tallied a career-high 305 passing yards on 11-of-20 attempts … the Bearcats rushed for 244 yards as Hohensee led the way with 66 yards on the ground … LaTroy Harper caught three passes for 143 yards and two scores … Rankin also caught two passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns … Donadelle tallied 191 all-purpose yards including 174 on kick returns … Northwest racked up seven quarterback sacks … Sam Phillips registered a team-best two quarterback sacks … neither team committed a turnover in the contest.#7 Northwest 59, Central Oklahoma 10 -- Final Football Stats